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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

beach, stirred a puddle, looked at a stone, and
asked themselves " What am I?" " What is this?"
and suddenly an answer was vouchsafed them (what
it was they could not say): so that they were warm in
the frost and had comfort in the desert. But Mrs.
McNab continued to drink and gossip as before.

6

The spring without a leaf to toss, bare and
bright like a virgin fierce in her chastity, scornful
in her purity, was laid out on fields wide-eyed and
watchful and entirely careless of what was done or
thought by the beholders.

[Prue Ramsay, leaning on her father's arm, was
given in marriage that May. What, people said,
could have been more fitting? And, they added,
how beautiful she looked!]

As summer neared, as the evenings lengthened,
there came to the wakeful, the hopeful, walking
the beach, stirring the pool, imaginations of the
strangest kind—of flesh turned to atoms which
drove before the wind, of stars flashing in their
hearts, of cliff, sea, cloud, and sky brought pur-
posely together to assemble outwardly the scattered
parts of the vision within. In those mirrors, the
minds of men, in those pools of uneasy water, in
which clouds for ever turn and shadows form,,
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